I'll Be Your Mirror


I'll Be Your Mirror

Essays and Aphorisms

David Lazar
Illustrated by Heather Frise

248 pages
16 illustrations


November 2017


$22.95 Add to Cart
eBook (EPUB)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2017


$22.95 Add to Cart
eBook (PDF)
Ebook purchases delivered via Leaf e-Reader

November 2017


$22.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

In his third book of essays, David Lazar blends personal meditations on sex and death with considerations of popular music and coping with anxiety through singing, bowling, and other distractions. He sets his work apart as both in the essay and of the essay by throwing himself into the form’s past—interviewing or speaking to past masters and turning over rocks to find lost gems of the essay form.

I’ll Be Your Mirror further expands the dimensions of contemporary nonfiction writing by concluding with a series of aphorisms. Surreal, comical, and urban moments of being, they are part Cioran, part Kafka, and part Lenny Bruce. These are accompanied by Heather Frise’s illustrations, whose looking-glass visions of motherhood—funny and grotesque—meet the vision of the aphorist in this most unusual nonfiction book.


Author Bio

David Lazar is a professor of creative writing and English at Columbia College Chicago. He is the editor of the journal Hotel Amerika and the author of several books, including Who’s Afraid of Helen of Troy: An Essay on Love and Occasional Desire: Essays (Nebraska, 2013). Heather Frise is a filmmaker, educator, and visual artist. She recently worked on the National Film Board of Canada’s Emmy award–winning Highrise.


"An eclectic collection."—Kirkus

"Combining thoughtful essays, imaginative interviews, aphorisms, and more, this book not only gives readers a vibrant and dizzying array of nonfiction forms, but also provides new and exciting ways to view the genre’s possibilities as a whole."—Rumpus

"This book is a remarkable look at the transformative and thrilling sounds the essay can make when given the chance to play as many different instruments as possible."—Christopher John Stephens, Pop Matters

"A wild and strangely endearing ride through Lazar's life, mind, and relationships."—Vivian Wagner, Brevity

“David Lazar asks to be known and seen, as Montaigne asked to be known and seen in his Essais. . . .This collection is a weird and wonderful conglomeration of form that invites the reader to ruminate with a brilliant and savvy mind. . . . There is no posturing here, but a sophisticated sifting through of moments, memories and the relationships that comprise a single life, thoughtfully engaged with the world, reflecting much more than its own singularity.”—Angela Pelster-Wiebe, author of Limber

“Traditional aphorisms are stand-alone wisecracks, but David Lazar’s are more like stairs up into a strange isolation or down into the stranger isolation of our community with each other—‘The bliss of opening the door and finding no one there.’ They are an ultraviolet that illuminates without lightening; they are genially at home in the dark. Exhilarating and unpredictable reading.”—James Richardson, author of During and By the Numbers: Poems and Aphorisms 

“In David Lazar’s essays, the ostensible subjects become mindstream explorations in which music and memory dance to the intimate mysteries of human love and longing.”—Lawrence Sutin, author of A Postcard Memoir and Jack and Rochelle

Table of Contents

Brigadoon Bowling
Ann; Death and the Maiden    
When I’m Awfully Low: On Singing    
Lollipop Is Mine    
Brushes with the Great and Not-So-Great    
Brigadoon Bowling    
Five Autobiographical Fragments, or She May Have Been a Witch    
Pandora and the Naked Dead Woman    
To the Reader, Sincerely
To the Reader, Sincerely    
Being a Boy-Man    
Hydra: I’ll Be Your Mirror    
A Conversation with Robert Burton, Author of Anatomy of Melancholy (1621), vox es, praeterea nihil    
Meet Montaigne! (with Patrick Madden)    
The Typologies of John Earle    
Voluptuously, Expansively, Historically, Contradictorily: Essaying the Interview with David Lazar and Mary Cappello    
Rock, Paper, Scissors, God: aphorismics    
Rock, Paper, Scissors, God    
Mothers, Etc.    
Source Credits    

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